If home is where the heart is, we all must have really dirty hearts! Every day we're exposed to tons of chemicals, toxins, and icky pesticides. Yikes!
They may be virtually impossible to avoid out in the great, big world, but we totally can make small changes in our homes that reap big benefits.
Check out 50 (easy, I swear!) ways to detox your home. Happy cleaning!
- No shoes in the house.
- Put lots of plants in the house. They're great for cleaning the air.
- Use an eco-friendly air purifier.
- Switch from the standard household cleaning products to cleaner and greener ones.
- Replace your skin care and personal products with less toxic and chemical-free options.
- Cut down on plastic use.
- Avoid nonstick pans, pots, bakeware, and utensils.
- Keep house dust to a minimum.
- Avoid excess moisture. It encourages the growth of mold and mildew.
- Get a shower filter.
- Get a water filter.
- Avoid stain-guarded clothing, furniture, and carpets. These may contain PFCs.
- Be conscious of toxins in carpeting.
Avoid products made from synthetic materials. Use natural fiber wool & cotton rugs.
- Seal (with a nontoxic sealer) or replace particleboard walls, floors, or cabinets.
- Avoid harmful pet-care products.
- Replace toxic lawn and garden pesticides and herbicides.
- Tell the dry cleaner not to use the plastic wrap.
- Use low-VOC, low-odor latex (water-based) paint.
- Have your house checked for carbon monoxide leaks.
- Check Radon levels.
- Place floor mats vertically by your entryways to wipe your shoes. This way more dirt and residue from your shoes stays outside on the mat
- Instead of using a synthetic air freshener to get rid of a smell, open a window or use an exhaust fan.
- If your refrigerator has a drip pan, clean it out every month. The moisture in the pan can breed mold and other bacteria.
- Wipe down air conditioning vents.
- Microwave sponges. After washing the dishes, toss the wet sponge into the microwave and nuke it on high for about a minute. This will radiate all the bacteria away and make sure it’s germ-free for the next time you use it.
- Lose the vinyl shower curtain.
- Stop using bleached products.
- Ditch the antibacterial soaps for more earth-friendly ones.
- Start using natural cosmetics, as opposed to ones with dangerous ingredients such as lead and mercury (check the label!).
- If you must dry clean, try using a dry cleaner who uses eco-friendly products.
- Clean out your junk drawers -- blech!
- Go through your closets and pull out anything you haven’t worn in a year and donate it to a worthy cause.
- Try to buy organic food as often as possible.
- Stop microwaving your food. Microwaving changes the protein structure of food making it potentially harmful to your body.
- Try tea tree oil. A few drops of tea tree oil can be used on a cloth to wipe down walls, floors, and other surfaces to help kill mold.
- Try switching from sponges to natural cloths for cleaning.
- Stop using fragrances.
- Don’t heat food or store it in plastic.
- Don’t use mothballs. Mothballs contain paradichlorobenzene, which is seriously toxic.
- Check your burners: If flames are yellow-tipped, that may mean your stove is releasing too much CO.
- If you don't have one already, install an exhaust hood vented to the outdoors.
- If you have a plastic shower curtain, put in the wash for five minutes on the gentle setting.
- Check cement walls (particularly near the floor, ceiling, and windows) and crawl spaces in the basement for mold.
- If you have a humidifier and dehumidifier, clean!
- Vacuum upholstery.
- Vacuum mattresses, flip, and vacuum again.
- Try using baking soda with sugar or peppermint oil as a cleaning agent.
- Quit smoking! And don’t let anyone smoke in your home!
- Turn the heat down on your stove. When your cooking oil starts to smoke, it has become toxic to your body.
- Lastly, lighten up! No toxicity is worse than the emotional kind you may be harboring.
What other ways can we detox our homes?
Image via go_greener_oz/Flickr